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Is Father Christmas real?

(65 Posts)
yogagran Wed 14-Nov-12 20:37:14

My DGD, age nearly 5, has come home from school today saying that some children have told her that Father Christmas isn't real. I think that this is really sad and it has raised two questions that I would like to put to you

Firstly - how old were your GC when they discovered the truth?

Secondly - what would be a good way for her parents and I to deal with this?

Anne58 Wed 14-Nov-12 21:03:52

When I was first asked this question, I asked it back, along the lines of "well, what do you think?"

I can't truly remember at what age each of the boys were when the truth came out, but bearing in mind that there was 10.5 years difference between them, I do remember DS1 being put under pain of death( well, maybe not death exactly, but the withdrawal of any presents) NOT to tell DS2!

Ana Wed 14-Nov-12 21:04:49

My DGDs are six and still believe in him! So I'm afraid I can't help, but would be interested to hear some tips from others for the inevitable moment...sad

numberplease Wed 14-Nov-12 21:10:22

Don`t know about my grandchildren, but I was about 10, and my kids were about 8 or 9, when it dawned.

tanith Wed 14-Nov-12 21:12:54

My smallest grandchild is 7 and still chooses to believe even though her older brother and school chums have told her differently and thats fine with us. I think be guided by the child if they choose to carry on believing then keep the illusion alive for them as long as they want to..

janeainsworth Wed 14-Nov-12 21:20:39

We always insisted that he was real, for as long as they expected to have a pillow slip of presents at the foot of the bed on Christmas morning.
Anyone who expressed any doubts was told that he would not come if they didn't believe in him.
The crunch came when we got to the stage where the 'children' were still in the pub at the time when mrA and I wanted to go to bed.
I told them that I had had an email from Father Christmas saying that he now had an excessive workload and with immediate effect would only be going to the houses in Newcastle where the children were aged under 18.
From then on the stocking fillers were placed under the tree with the main presents grin

Greatnan Wed 14-Nov-12 21:22:36

My daughters have obviously inherited my cynical attitude - they had sussed out by the time they were about four that all the different Santas they saw could not all be true. They didn't tell me until a couple of years later, because, they said, they didn't want to spoil it for me!
I am not sure how parents who teach their children that god is real differentiate between the Almighty and Santa.

Jendurham Wed 14-Nov-12 21:25:40

My grandson has just found out that there is no such thing as a tooth fairy, when he found his dad removing his tooth and replacing it with a pound coin. He's ten. His dad said not to tell his sister, but keep it as a big secret between them.
Today I took him and his five year old sister to the coffee shop. The vicar's wife came in with her son, who is in Sam's class. I went to the toilet and when I came back all four of them were having a conversation about how Santa knows everything and he knows where they are all going to be at Christmas.
So two ten year olds, a five year old and a vicar's wife are still in collusion about Santa. And me of course.
If I get asked by any of my grandchildren - and the other two are 19 and 12 - if I believe in Santa, I say of course, who else brings my presents?
It's so obvious, if you don't believe, you don't get any presents.

Ella46 Wed 14-Nov-12 21:27:13

But Greatnan all those other Santas are just his helpers! wink

Ana Wed 14-Nov-12 21:30:03

Yes, that's right, Ella - they're not the real Father Christmas!

Jendurham Wed 14-Nov-12 21:30:38

And I am an ex-teacher so I can keep a straight face about anything.
We always take them to the pantomime, but the local one without soapstars.
It's as traditional as Santa, except for Spanish daughter-in-law. The Danish one had never seen a pantomime until she came with us, and now she's into magic as much as the rest of us. The first one she saw was Dick Whittington, and she did not have a clue!
Grandson does not want to come but he enjoys it when he gets there although we do seem to spend more time answering his questions than watching the action. He has ASD.

Elegran Wed 14-Nov-12 21:39:01

My parents broke it gently to me that Santa was not real. I replied that I knew that, but had not said anything in case I then got no presents.

With our children we sort of moved gradually from Santa bringing presents to us buying the presents for Santa to bring and they sussed out for themselves that Santa glimpsed filling stockings in the middle of the night looked a lot like Daddy.

We never put their "real" presents at the foot of their beds, but under the Christmas tree. The stockings were on the beds, with an orange, an apple, a few sweets, and some small inexpensive things to keep them occupied for a while. No big presents were opened until after breakfast had been cleared away - this meant that everyone was keen to help tidy up.

By the time everything had been opened, inspected and played with for a while, it was time to get dressed and fit to go to paternal grandparents for lunch. After that was over, parcels from them to all of us and from us to them were exchanged, along with the ones exchanged with aunt and uncle and cousin. The ones from maternal grandparents were kept until we were back home again.

That way the excitement was spread over the day - and we could watch the unwrapping with pencil and paper in hand and know who to thank for what.

london Wed 14-Nov-12 21:40:38

my son was about 14 smile he,s 46 now

Nanadog Wed 14-Nov-12 22:09:08

What are you trying to say? Of course Father Christmas is real ....isn't he?
ella and ana you know this don't you?

Ella46 Wed 14-Nov-12 22:18:35

Of course he's real, he gave me a kiss once! smile

Faye Wed 14-Nov-12 22:28:03

My daughter will be very sad when her seven and four year old daughters realise there is no Santa. I am fairly sure GD7 already knows but is being diplomatic from her conversation last week, "Mum errr Santa could get it for me for Christmas." D1 is a drama teacher at a private school and teaches students up to Year 12, she writes many of her own plays and designs wonderful sets and has a huge range of gorgeous costumes. Nothing wrong with having a bit of imagination, it certainly didn't hurt my daughter who from a very young age has always loved fantasy.

Ana Wed 14-Nov-12 22:30:22

Nanadog, yes! Not sure about Ella....hmm

merlotgran Wed 14-Nov-12 22:45:53

Way back, in the days of small grandchildren, I was driving four year old DGD2 home from school when, 'I Saw Mummy Kissing Santa Claus' came on the radio. She said, 'Granny, if I saw mummy kissing Santa Claus......I'd tell Dad!' grin

Two years later, with Christmas approaching again, the search for Madeleine McCann was given extra coverage on the radio. The same journey, the same grandaughter said, 'Granny, I can't understand why they don't just ask Father Christmas. He knows where everyone is.'

How on earth do you answer that?

The average age for no longer believing in our family is nine. sad

annodomini Wed 14-Nov-12 22:52:52

I remember finding out when I was 7 or 8 and overheard my mother and her best friend discussing Christmas. Can't remember when my DSs found out, but GD, now aged 10, winked at her dad last Christmas when Santa was mentioned. Her brother (8) is extremely rational and I am sure he must suspect. The two younger ones in my other DS's family may still believe, but the younger one, aged almost 5, is a born sceptic and I'd be surprised if he hadn't been thinking about it!

Notsogrand Wed 14-Nov-12 22:56:35

I was 13 when my Mum died & I had 3 younger brothers and sisters. Mum died in August and the first Christmas after that loomed like the worst nighmare. My 2 year old sister had been very ill with measles, and against medical advice, Dad wouldn't let her be admitted to hospital because he was terrified that she wouldn't come back home. Like Mum. So in early December he gave up work to look after her at home.

This was in the days before benefits. If you didn't have a job you had no money. Two weeks before Christmas, when the 3 younger ones were in bed, Dad told me that he couldn't afford presents for all of us, so as I was the oldest I'd have to accept that the younger children would get presents, but I wouldn't. It's difficult to describe how that all felt, but I remember it with chrystal clarity. God only knows how my father felt.

That same evening, there was a knock at the door, Dad answered and I could hear murmuring in the hallway. He eventually came back in carrying a brown paper carrier bag with string handles half full of loose coins collected by his work colleagues. With tears streaming down his face he said " Girl. Don't ever let anyone tell you that there is no such thing as Father Christmas".

So to answer the OP.....yes, of course Father Christmas is real smile

Nanadog Wed 14-Nov-12 22:57:57

Isn't ella real then?

Ana Wed 14-Nov-12 23:02:33

Nanad! grin

Greatnan Wed 14-Nov-12 23:05:19

Notso - your story really made me sad. It must have been terrible to lose your mother at that age. I am sure you were a great support to your father. flowers

Notsogrand Wed 14-Nov-12 23:10:47

Thank you for your lovely thoughts Greatnan, but no need to be sad. The beat goes on smile

Nanadog Wed 14-Nov-12 23:11:56

notso flowers moon